Physics and fire can hardly be considered bedrocks of the survival horror genre, of course. Fortunately, Alone in the Dark has some intriguing ideas here too. Ever directed a rat to where you want it to be by tossing a punctured bag of blood around? The flesh-munching rodents are a bane, but you can distract them by puncturing a corpse: they'll fall on it and you can move past in relative safety.
It's strange seeing what should be a mere footnote of gaming resurrected so convincingly: last year's hideous attempt to port Resident Evil 4 to the PC has left a bit of a weeping sore. Alone in the Dark is not just trying to innovate as a horror game, it's making a convincing case for taking the survival horror genre into a far more physical realm. This time last year, we couldn't care less about a new AitD game, but there's a strength and swagger to this new incarnation that's difficult to dismiss. If Eden can shore it up with a decent story well told, it could be wonderful.